Metastatic relapse of solid tumors such as breast and ovarian cancers continues to be a major clinical problem. Current therapies for this stage of disease are not very effective and carry significant side-effects. The magnitude of this problem provides strong rationale for studies that may lead to novel lifestyle or therapeutic strategies for the prevention and treatment of metastatic disease. In this regard, several epidemiological studies show that obesity and elevated cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of metastatic relapse.
Our lab is focused on determining how endocrine and metabolic factors associated with obesity and hypercholesterolemia influence breast and ovarian cancer progression. There is a strong focus on the interface between cholesterol homeostasis and the immune system.
Main Areas of Interest
Establishing 27-hydroxycholesterol as a causal link between obesity, hypercholesterolemia and breast cancer metastasis.
The role of cholesterol homeostasis within the immune system.
Defining the mechanisms by which 27-hydroxychoelsterol increases metastasis.
Determining the impact of cholesterol and its metabolites on ovarian cancer progression.
Delineating the role of nuclear receptor signaling within the tumor microenvironment and its impact on tumor progression.